I got this email last week from Corby Waste, whose Cordwainer Smith art is on the website.

They say sometimes the “truth is stranger than fiction”. Not for us Cordwainer Smith fans – we’ve heard it all before!!!

Rat-brain robot aids memory study – BBC News

Rat brain flies jet

Can a spaceship be far behind?

I believe at least some credit for these breakthroughs belongs to CS. Not quite “laminated” rat brain neurons but still eerily similar.

He had also sent this to CS researcher/biographer Alan Elms, who replied:

As for whether the rat brain in the first experiment was laminated, this description of the process sounds close enough for non-fiction: “The blob of nerves forming the brain of the robot was taken from the neural cortex in a rat foetus and then treated to dissolve the connections between individual neurons.” One wonders — I wonder — whether these researchers were originally inspired by reading “Think Blue, Count Two.”

Alan later sent me this link, with the comment, “Just to clarify the historical record on laminated rat brains a little…”  http://machinist.salon.com/blog/2008/08/15/rat_brain/index.html

Thanks, Corby and Alan, for providing such a great start to the “It’s Happening Now” section of the blog.